tv The Dylan Ratigan Show MSNBC February 7, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
today. i will be leaving for texas this evening. >> have a safe flight. >> i look forward to seeing you from there. i'll bring you back a hat or something. >> very kind of you. >> show starts now. a lovely and hopefully engaging tuesday afternoon to you. nice to see you. i am dylan ratigan. thank you for joining us. today's big story, the arab spring as you read around the world not only in full bloom, but continuing to change and take all sorts of shapes. a year this week since the wave of revolution toppled the egyptian president mubarak, bringing a democracy to egypt but an ongoing of evolution of power in that country. that volatile country remains part of a triple threat, or i should say triple hot spot in the middle east. clashes both diplomatic and
murderously violent throughout the region. concentrated currently in syria on the murderous front in iran on the diplomatic escalation front. first, a violent bombardment continues by the assad regime. homs reports on the casualties and those being murdered. msnbc is reporting more than 300 civilians have been killed, but the numbers get bigger fast. >> i'm just asking for help. i don't know how these things work. all we want is help. we don't care how. >> today russia's prime minister traveled to syria in an effort, they say, to urge president assad to move forward with reform measures. the state news agency said he reported willingness to cooperate. however, that's been an ongoing theme of their state television
apparatus as they murder people. the russians are selling more weapons to the government of syria. to iran we go. tensions within their own government there. the country's parliament in iran has commoned akmar ahmadinejad to show how he's mismanaged the economy. this marks the first time in 33 years an iranian president has been called to testify before what is the closest thing to the people. that internal battle has gone largely unreported due to the larger concerns over iran's nuclear program and the resulting sanctions by the u.s. and the ratcheting up of rhetoric. the sanctions are there to theoretically cat rise pressure. the foreign minister in d.c. where he sat down with the secretary of state hillary clinton and a group of senators. take a look at that.
>> iran has not renounced their path towards the acquisition of a nuclear weapon. they are not doing enough. >> peter welch just returned from the region where he met with foreign leaders in iran. we also have journalist and newly-acquainted friend of the show, roya hakakian. congressman welch, let's go to the most horrifying. they are killing people in syria. there was obviously effort at the u.n. russia and china did not want to participate. we know the narrative over the weekend. we're seeing russia selling more weapons to the syrian government. we know there's an economic relationship between iran, syria, russia, that it's an evi nspiracy, by the way. we have one with saudi arabia. other people have them with other parts of the area.
that's a relationship set. how do we help that man on that youtube video not get killed? >> i wish i had an answer. the military is coming in with tanks in the neighborhood. it would be like going into a small town in the u.s. and literally unloading this canon fire into homes where women, children, and men were. what's our ability to stop that? militarily, it doesn't seem as though there's a viable option. obviously, the administration is doing everything it can diplomatically and through the u.n. the arab league supports the efforts we're making and condemning assad. at the end of the day, you have china and russia standing in the way of a u.n. resolution. it's pretty frustrating. >> which means, we should focus our attention on the power of russia and china. they are the ones enabling the assad regime. is there anything the world has
in the arsenal, whoever it may be, to exert more influence or china and russia to prevent them from supporting this murderous regime? >> they have everything at stake in prevending. russia and china, in preventing this spread of democracy. >> why? what do they stand to lose? >> they have to answer to their own people why they are not allowing civil liberties and freedoms. >> slippery-slope theory of their own government dysfunction. >> perfectly put. the question for china is when is he going to return to china? thing these are the things. it's a question of their own survival and continued existe e existence. >> we have seen a resistance developing around the world. obviously, here in america with the occupation and the tea party. and also the obama election, which is the the rejection of two sets of rules. >> right.
>> it's a -- every country in the world is saying there's two sets of rules. we reject that. how do we acknowledge that is what's happening as opposed to pretending that's not what's happening as a planet? >> that is happening. you're seeing the incredible reaction that has spread across the middle east. the issue for us is to have a realistic way of engaging. let's take iran. in our trip, i went with mr. cantor. saudi arabia, and every one of these countries masked concern about a nuclear iran. enormous support for sanctions, but a cautious about the use of military force. we have to calibrate whether we'll be willing to be patient with the sanctions or will we escalate into a rhetoric that
walks us into a sober consideration that has to be used before you take military action. >> roya, you were explaining before we walked on the set that the sanctions are having their intended effect. that effect is manager manifest by the summoning of ahmadinejad to testify before the people. >> i think, you know, next week iran will be celebrating the 33rd anniversary of the 1979 revolution with a lot of things still in question for the public since the 2009 stolen elections. ahmadinejad came back to power seeming like his relationship with the supreme leader was strong. it is no longer so. and promising to bring out a
middle east that was on dwindling inside the country. he has not been able to strengthen the country economically. and in the meantime, we also know that the dissatisfactions that brought people to the streets in 2009 have not been addressed. >> congressman welch, what do the american people need to understand to be more effective in helping advocate american policy and politics around the middle east, specifically to this sort of unifying thesis of all societies rejecting two sets of rules? many of which are on display in that part of the world. >> you put it it very simply. we support democracy. we support the peacemakers in all of these countries that are trying to create a civil society that recognizes rights for women and all the members of their society. the question for the u.s., particularly in congress, is
will we try to be a constructive presence? will we try to make things better? or will we descend into political rhetoric where we're trying to one up one another and try to make a constructive contribution to a positive outcome. >> obviously, that's what's going to happen, congressman. we know what's going to happen. i'm tougher than you. i'll do this. you'll be like, no, i'll do this. we'll just yell at each other. >> that's why, frankly, you have to give the administration some latitude. these things are not going to be solved by one member of congress trying to one up another on who is toughest. there was a lot of that discussion. the military option may be something that has to be on the table. but if it's on the table, we don't need to talk about it all the time. they will do the job we give them to do. >> the congressman from vermont are the toughest.
right? you can say it. >> you said it. >> peter welch, thank you very much for the conversation. roya, it's a delight to see you. up next, just because you ignore it does not mean that it is not there. crime exploding across america and a government turning a blind eye. but first -- >> the american people deserve to know who is trying to sway their elections. you can't let special interests drown out the voices of the american people. >> or you can. super pacs and some super hypocrisy. the obama camp changing their tune. they are going to be accepting corporate cash. they will be doing it in secret
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it is tuesday, which means a little auction 2012 action in america. it is auction season. they are the caucuses of colorado and the ones of minnesota. a primary they are selling off in missouri this season. the interesting thing. only colorado and minnesota award any delegates. that doesn't even happen tonight. it's more auctioning off a point of view that could lead to delegates. in the the meantime, from one race to the bottom to another. not even a full day after telling matt lauer he's worried about the influence of the secret money in the super pacs, the president in his campaign had a reversal urging supporters to donate to the pac supporting him. their reasoning not fair for the republicans to do it. you can't blame them. >> this decision was made. i point you to the campaign statements about the fact that
the rules being what they are, the campaign has made clear they cannot disarm in a circumstance like this. >> you could unilaterally pass transparency legislation right now. couldn't you? can anybody say get money out? the mega panel joins us. karen finney, susan del percio and jimmy williams. we know the game is being played through the mechanism. we can pile it on all we want. the real problem is the failure of the president or any of the lead candidates to actually dot right thing, which is immediately pass super pac transparency legislation right now in our congress. >> that's absolutely true. here's the other political fact.
this is not an issue that's important enough to enough americans for them to actually do it. that's why what you're doing and going throughout the country and talking about these things is really important. until people actually speak up and say this is important and i will vote based on this, not much is going to happen. this was a political calculation they made because they knew they could. >> i'm going to put you in a terrible situation and ask you to channel peoples' thoughts. thank you for playing along with me. >> okay. i'm ready. >> you're in the obama strategic room. you say, listen. we can up the ante and provide leadership saying super pacs exist. we're going to use them, but we're going to demand transparency when we do. we'll call out everybody else
who doesn't. is would be politically popular. or we can say, listen. we have a good cover here. we know this is what's happening. they will call us hypocrites, but that's hypocrite call because it suggests you don't understand how screwed up the thing is to begin with. why make the more cautious decision of playing the money game as opposed to the more ambitious decision, which would be in keeping with the obama narrative, which is we'll do this better. >> i have two parts to my answer. number one, it's my understanding from the campaign that there will be more transparency coming out of this super pac than the ones we're seeing in the republicans. i'm saying as part of the decision, look. the rules are what they are. we can't disarm. what we can do is say we're going to be more transparent about it. i got to tell you, dylan. my guess is their calculation is the second thing i'm going to
say, which is as an american citizen who appreciates the fact that my uterus is not a preexisting condition and they are fighting against racial profiling and getting us out of iraq, i want him reelected. they realize most voters get this is what the rules are. those are my personal priorities. a if that's what we have to do to get him reelected. he's been more, i think, publically transparent and more publically opposed to and taking steps against citizens united than i think the others have. >> so the only thing i would say in response to that rationalization of it is that while all those things, i wouldn't contest any of those things, he's also super vising the largest crime wave in the history of the world as our financial institutions run around sucking money out of it. whoever the president is, if he doesn't intervene, we'll never
solve the other issues. jimmy, my question is simple. why won't they give us super pac transparency legislation, which they could pass this year. it's one thing to say -- ooip going to stop talking. that's the question. it doesn't make any sense. >> well, the president of the united states can easy send a piece of legislation up to the hill and find someone in the house and senate to introduce it that would mandate absolute, immediate transparency and disclosure of all super pacs and campaign financing. that has not happened. i will give the campaign its due credit. he did say the president now with support will mimic. if that's the case, send one up
to the hill. >> this president said he's going to take care of the banks. i want to see him do things. hold on. i want to bring bill black in. i'll bring you guys back. we'll see the panel in a view. moving on to assault to theft. officially crime declined in 2011 in this country. but what is a stolen car compared to trillions of dollars being sucked out of our economy while a giant slug of debt lays over our housing market preventing any adaptation while a few individuals collect all the money from a savings and loan crisis. our next guest says white collar crime is so pervasive in this country that it has exploded and yet the handcuffs are nowhere. joining us is former banking regulator bill black. how do you explain the lack of a culture of engagement in solving problems? >> because we had unilateral
disarmament against white collar crime. they already cut the number of prosecutions of financial fraud by more than half from 20 years ago. fraud bigger or smaller these days from 20 years ago? >> what about our conquering hero, barack obama, who is going to save us? >> he cut the prosecutions fewer from bush so that we have no white collar elite criminal who caused this crisis. >> but surely there's a reason why this president would reduce the number of prosecutors because there's obviously a new technique for prosecuting financial fraud. >> yes. it's called nonprosecution. >> that requires lower staffing levels. >> it does. but it fits nicely into what we heard. you don't get into the way of both parties. how did we reduce violent crime?
we studied it, god forbid. we spent resources. we looked for hot spots of crime. >> you madman. >> we looked for broken windows in civility that leads to crime. we looked for gangs that created crime. >> what would be the equivalent of the braten method for white collar crime? >> maybe mortgage banking when they started making liar's loans. that wasn't subtle. >> there might be fraud? that could be an indication of misrepresented security? >> i have a ph.d. in criminology and that's what i focused on. i think anybody in the world might figure out that a loan called fraudulent might be fraudulent. since one-third of all loans by 2006 were liars loans and nobody stopped it, nobody intervened in the hot spots. since we weakened the fiduciary
duties. >> i'm going to ask you the $30 trillion question. william bratton shows up and wants crime rates in the city. put the cops where the crime is. you roll in, william black, federal prosecutor. here to hot spot crime. here's how you do it. fraud task force. go after the liars loans. you know where the states are. go to nevada. go to south florida. go to southern california. if you do that, unlike crime, you disrupt a massive, very profitable business that is perpetuating that fraud. whereas street crime, it's politically advantageous. >> and you have insufficient resources so you look for choke points. with few resources, you can get
the biggest bang for your buck. there are three credit rating agencies. you velgt who was giving the liars loans. you would have shut down the market. there are only five investment banks. if you had gone after one of them, lehman brothers, the entity that did tens of billions of dollars of liars loans. they fired their fraud guy because he made a criminal referral. >> that's a good solution. >> that's a good solution. then with very few resources, you could have prevented this entire crisis. we can debate the amount. >> that's the point of hot spotting. when you know where to go, investigate the fraud. look at the funds at lehman brothers. you don't need a nationwide task force of investigators. you need smart investigators going to the choke point. you want to go the way of
lehman. fine. make my day. >> that's called hot spotting white-collar crime. thank you. >> it's what makes possible honest business. >> you have to have the regulatory cops on the beat. and they took the cops off the beat. >> after the break, former new york city police commissioner, he knows the value of preventing people from stealing money. the ultimate guide to solve problems using the hot spotting techniques he made famous. i'm here to unleash my inner cowboy. instead i got heartburn. hold up partner. prilosec can take days to work. try alka-seltzer. it kills heartburn fast. yeehaw! time out. sweet. [ female announcer ] with charmin ultra soft, you can get that cushiony feeling while still using less.
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new book for getting things done in a 21st century world that needs that type of problem sofling throughout every system. a system more connected than ever. and yet can appear to be vastly disconnected. bill bratton ran the police force in new york and brought it to boston and l.a. he's also coauthor of "collaborate or perish." he's an inspiration to health care and other hot spotters all over the country who are applying his methodologies in his field of study. new levels of connectivity and shared information. new pressures that are unprecedented. and that it's only if we use the new tools that we'll be able to solve these problems. is that the point? >> that's the basis of it. the idea if you're not going to learn how to use the new
network, you're going to perish. borders out of business. it didn't transcend on how to reach customers. barnes and noble hanging in there because of the nook. this is an example of the idea to collaborate on something as simple as selling books. >> susan, go ahead. >> i'm just curious. do you talk about how important it is to go through the process and fail at times? meaning you have to try new things and you even have to budget for it just so you can collaborate. not everything is going to be a home run from day one. >> it took awhile to get that home run. it's about 25 years to finally get it right. but we did here in new york. in the book, we talk about not only successes, but failures. in some respects, i'm an example of that failure to stay in your political headlights, if you will.
starting to grade each other. i'm an example of failure to collaborate, if you will. >> jimmy? >> commissioner bratton, do you think perhaps if you could become the sergeant at arms of the senate or maybe of the house of representatives, you could get the people to get along with each other by collaborating. >> i don't think there's a net big enough. i don't know if i have one big enough. >> that's my only question. >> better off to be the dogcatcher of that job. >> go ahead, karen. >> commissioner, it's great to have you. we tried to apply that to the public schools. i'm a huge fan of what you're doing. you have to get the right people involved. that also suggests those people have to want to be involved. we were just talking about politics. the president can try to do something or one entity wants to
try to do something. if you can't get the right people involved or unwilling to cooperate, how do you work around that? >> well, in terms of that issue, that's a great question. the idea is you try to build the momentum. get more and more people on to the platform. yet you try to find something for everybody in what you're doing and enlarge the platform. the idea of the hot spots and the points thatle o building a momentum. the tipping point. . that's what i did in policing. a lot of people did not believe in the '90s in going after quality of life crime is the way to go. people fought that here in new york. when we began to have success, they came on board. >> i was one of those people. i used to go around breaking windows, and i was really irritated. it was me.
>> then i was like go with him on that. low and behold. there goes the murder rate. thank you for continuing to be involved. thanks again to the panel. bill bratton and his hot spotting is featured prominently as the basis of modern decision making as a universal thesis as to how it is you fight greedy bastards. it's the ant dote. we thank everybody who picked up a book. we're excited to continue to engage with people in how to apply the techniques we're learning. we're off to austin, texas, tonight. we'll be there all week long focusing on criminal justice along with defense and our veterans. 30 million jobs, the tour we will be working with the folks at tree hugger to launch the defense energy project. you can read about it at
dylanratigan.com. much more with an interview tomorrow in texas looking at how to redirect our vital returning veterans to a mission for american energy independence. coming up here, the giants fans occupy wall street coming together. their demands were unclear. [ male announcer ] this was how my day began. a little bird told me about a band... ♪ an old man shared some fish stories... ♪
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lasts. next year, i fully believe the bay area will be partying for my beloved 49ers. but for now, we'll let the giants have their well-deserved and hardly-earned moment in the sun. still ahead, the price of buying print. why a little more squinting could save us a bunch of money. wake up! that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm. for half the calories plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.
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either signed on the dotted line or clicked in the little box that is the dotted line without r reading the fine print. the next guest found that living that rather, shall we say, brazen lifestyle of signing things without reviewing the fine print comes at a not too small cost of $250 billion. that's real money. that would be $2,000 each per household that we are paying in extra fees and all sorts of se cannery that none of us have read. so why do companies make the print so small? they don't want us to read it. there's a business in creating an inpenetrable maize of words that's so small and bizarre you'll never look at it because they can make a quarter billion a year when you don't read it. missy sullivan is the author of
the cover story "fine print." that contingency we'd like to avoid. this is a problem. it's self-evident why they do it. it's working. they are making a lot of money. you say we can beat it. help us. >> there are some ways to beat it, but we are like david and goliath. i'll start with the bad news. the good news is there are groups that are trying to help. there's an online data base of every contract. they are trying to push the translation button. they are using computers to do it because it's publically billions of pages. make it to a ninth grade level. >> i could locate the user agreement and whatever it is. >> it's called transparency labs. >> is that a website?
>> it's a website. they are just coming online yno. >> the interesting thing is we pay good money out of our taxes to our politicians to represent our interests in this country to do things like making sure that business doesn't -- business creates value for customers. they are going to do that. this clearly is not creating value for customers, but it's making somebody money. where is the federal and state government when it comes to regulating and/or creating more transparency for fine print? >> there's been a lot of progress on the regulation front, but what the companies do, they turn it around and say the government made us do it that's why social security so long. dodd-frank is going to add hundreds and hundreds of disclosure items on to any financial document that you have to deal with. >> so basically, you walk in and you're the government.
you say i need transparency. okay. you want transparency? that's great. i back up an 18-wheeler full of paper and say enjoy yourself. which is basically the obnoxious response from the business to the request. when the reality is we're not asking for a pile of disorganized paper that complies with the law. we actually want simple understanding of the intent of the engagement of the contracts we are signing. america has wonderful contract law. it has wonderful property rights. some of the best in the world. where is our government and our legal profession on creating a standardized legal contract for the consumer to defend themselves against the manipulative nature of the fine print practices in the country. >> the government is caught up in their lack of transparency. and lack of clarity in the language. in fact, obama just passed a clear language act for government documents in 2010.
so they are starting on their own learning curve. >> in the very short-term, you say we're $2,000household. >> that's a conservative estimate. >> what could we do right now to reduce that number? what can i do to reduce that number in my household? what can folks do to try to make that number smaller for themselves? >> the answer is first of all that you have to take more time. a lot of people -- there was a study that said people don't read the fine print. here's how they know. they did a document. on the second page, it said that the people who signed this document were going to actually do pushups on demand and they were going to give electric shocks to anybody who was in this test they were doing. 96% of the people signed that document because they didn't get there. so make a good faith effort. the companies try really hard to
make it hard for you. but you do have to at least try. >> a word search or anything like that? key words to search in the fine print that are a red flag to a problem? >> i would say the first thing, and the biggest problem that comes up with these documents, is the binding arbitration agreement. that basically shuts consumers down from the ability to band together in a class-action suit and sue a company. the supreme court, unfortunately, has two times in the last year upheld the company side of this and basically shut down consumers. >> the way that works is i am a customer. you're a company. sign here if you want to use our product. and by doing so, you accept binding arbitration which eliminates me from any product liability in a class-action suit that you might form against me.
>> most of these are contracts of adhesion. it's one-sided. you're not negotiating when you're signing. when you drive into a parking lot, that's a contract of adhesion just because you drove on to their property. if you get hit by a ball at a baseball game, there's no way -- >> there's no negotiations. >> that's the way the deck is being stacked. >> the other place where the the deck is stacks is to exploit the customers to force them into terrible contracts that transfer all the liability away from the operators to the customers is with the bags at the airline. the airlines seem like they are good at this. >> have you looked at it? how many people go online and read them. they can be -- some of them are
scores of pages. some are 100 pages. if you want to go in and read all of the bad news, that's really what it is. they don't give you a lot of rights. >> here's the interesting thing. am i making a rational decision? i get to itunes. binding arbitration. i have to fly to texas tonight. there's going to be a bunch of stuff in there i'm going to comply to i never read. if i was to read any of it, and however, horrible it was because i need to go to texas tonight for work tomorrow, i'm not going to refuse to use the ticket. i'm not going to not buy the song. so aren't the providers just exploiting the point of lempbl? it's the same way when the banks come for $30 trillion, if they do it when the economy is collapsing, the banks have all
the leverage. if itunes said sign this contract, i would say no. >> and you figure what are the chances i'm going to have to enact anything in that contract? i just want the song. to live in the modern world, you have to wrap yourself in this kind of paper. but it's not something that necessarily in the most onerous circumstances will hold up in court. there are some laws that a court would throw out half the different terms on the costa cruises waivers. they say they have no liability -- >> that's the boat that flipped over with the crazy guy. they are not liable for any of that? >> it says you can't sue them. it says they are not liable for anything. and they won't refund you. they would give you a credit. >> for the next cruise. >> and you're saying there is
legal recourse beyond the absurdity of apple or costa cruise or whoever it is. >> because judges will have a certain level of just common sense about this. they will look at that and say that makes no sense. people died here. >> amazing that anybody would have the audacity to hide behind the fine print with something like that cruise line. i did not know that. congrats on the reporting. thank you for the good work. defending america. is that on your card? attack of the fine print. thank you for your defense. still ahead, fighting fire with fire. david goodfriend's solution to get money out of politics right after this. sweet, nutty crunchy nut.
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we talk about the hypocrisy in money and politics. david goodfriend has a plan to turn the system on its head. >> get money out of politics. we all agree on that here at the dylan ratigan show. even me who make lots of campaign contributions to be squashed by bigger corporate checks. i'm glad that groups like united republic and others are organ e organizing grass roots effort for the movement. the supreme court got it wrong in citizens united. another case with money for speech. at long last, we must amend the
constitution. let's look at the republican primary where private corporations coined as super pacs are having a bigger impact than the candidate's campaigns themselves. or the obama campaign saying they need a bigger pushback to fight the mud slingers. while it's off to an amazing start, i don't think the grass roots effort to pass a constitutional amendment will be enough by itself. i'm a street fighter who thinks results. when you're up against these and is look bied against every reform effort ever, it's time to fight fire with fire. here's a modest proposal to get money out with gusto. let's create our own super pac in support of our constitutional amendment to get money out it's sole purpose will be to carpet bomb with negative ads
any elected official who does not vote for the constitutional amendment. get a few wealthy individuals to put up big dough for the super pac. then we get the word out. vote against the get money out amendment in congress or state legislatures during the ratification process and we'll end your career with negative ads. we'll go to your district, your state, and outspend you with brutal ads and end your careers as an elected official. you don't like that? too evil? too unfair? exactly. that's because our system is broken. now you see our point. so amend the constitution and we'll have to go away along with every other sleazy super pac. let's do this america. give me your tired, your annoyed individuals yearning to improve our democracy, and we can get this constitutional amendment done real soon. dylan? >> that seems to be the best idea anybody has come up with on this whole thing, david.
you have any rich friends? i'm looking and open for business. we can do this tomorrow. >> it seems like, you know, it would be hard to come up with the content for the negative ads. >> come on, dylan. we could come up with that content right now. i mean really. if the system is that broken, we can use the system to fix it. >> i like it. i think it's a brilliant innovation. i invite anybody out there to help david with his pursuit of a get-money out super pac to be used to annihilate the reputation of any politician if they don't want to pass the amendment. talk about their time with the goats or whatever you need to do, david. pleasure. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i am dylan ratigan. "hardball" is up next with chris matthews. but before we get to chris and "hardball," i would like to